Courtesy of VHS Ski Coach Pete Toye – The Buc ski team made a very long road trip to Homer which paid off nicely with some very strong top-10 overall performances by a number of athletes. Valdez joined teams from Kenai, Soldotna, Nikiski, Seward, Wasilla, and host Homer for the two day event featuring classic on Friday and skate on Saturday. The Lookout Mountain course is the most demanding in the state with lots of steep climbs and screaming turns so it was a significant mental and physical challenge to teams not familiar with the venue. The kids showed the great courage that only skiers on intimidating courses can appreciate. It is also not easy to sit in a bus for 500 miles then get out and race a new and challenging venue! This was the first time Valdez has skied there in 5 years due to the great distance and skiing danger if the course is icy, but conditions were perfect this time around.
As has been the case all season, senior Rylee Norris was the top Buc racer finishing 2nd overall consisting of 2nd place finishes in both events. She had an outstanding race showing great control, courage, and skill throughout the course. Senior Taylor Huston had a competitive weekend on this demanding venue finishing 11th in classic and 14th in skate. The Buc varsity boys were again led by ever improving junior Ben Swanson who finished 10th overall consisting of 12th in classic and 6th in skate. Following Swanson solid efforts were senior James Hancock who placed 20th overall and senior Chris Cummins finishing in 24th.
The junior varsity girls continue to excel in only their first or second year of the sport winning the girls team JV title in impressive fashion. Senior Angie Alfaro had a great meet finishing 2nd overall and 2nd in both events. This is Angie’s second year in the program. The remainder of the team are all first year racers and continue to improve each day. Senior Caitlin Connell finished a very strong 3rd overall-4th classic/3rd skate; sophomore Victoria Korenev had a great event finishing 6th overall-7th classic/5th skate; freshman Grace Keller had a very good weekend earning 9th overall and 9th in both events; and sophomore Rowan Miller had her best races of the season with a 10th place overall finish and 10th in both events. Senior, and first year skier, John Banner was the lone Buc boy in the JV event with a strong 7th place overall performance-5th classic/9th skate.
The Bucs now enter home stretch month and will next see action this weekend in the valley at the Matsu Borough Championships.
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